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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (278)

Find all the sunday reflections by our priests at the parish here.

PICTheme: What matters is true love

One day, as the late Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity were tending to the poorest of the poor on the streets of Calcutta; they happened across a man lying in the gutter very near death. He was filthy, dressed in little more than a rag and flies swarmed around his body. Immediately, Mother Teresa embraced him, spoke to him softly and began to pick out the maggots that were nesting in his flesh. A passerby was repulsed by the sight of the man and exclaimed to Mother Teresa, ‘I wouldn’t do that for a million pounds.’ Her response was immediate, ‘Neither would I!’ Obviously, monetary gain did not motivate the diminutive woman known as the Saint of Calcutta; love did. In her writings, Mother Teresa frequently affirmed the motivating power of love. Quoting Jesus in today’s gospel, she wrote, “Jesus said, love one another.

Theme: Choosing right voice

If you tend to skip ahead in a book to see what’s coming up, you might already have glanced at next Sunday’s Gospel. In it, Jesus affirms that he is the Good Shepherd of all sinners. He knows us. He also assures us that we can hear his voice, and when we hear it, we recognize and follow him. This look ahead provides a foothold from which we can enter into the sacred texts for today. Each text reminds us that we are bombarded every day by a cacophony of voices. Some speak the truth and offer enlightenment. Others, although they may have good intentions, speak only partial truths. Because these many voices are often forceful and alluring, we need to listen carefully, pray intently and discern wisely which ones we will heed.

Theme: I believe

Divine mercy is forever ready

In a world almost suffocated by materialism and indifference; we need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy which alone is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Today more than ever we are called to gaze more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of God’s action in our lives. The Sunday of Divine Mercy during the special year dedicated to this precious act of joy and forgiveness we have a special time to witness and to grow stronger in faith.

Theme: Death has been defeated

This is a great night, what does it communicate to you?

When God made us he drew us from the depths of the immense ocean of his love. He set us on this earthly shore and invited us, by means of a deeply embedded desire for him, to freely return to him in love. From the very beginning our existence therefore, our deepest essence, was ordered to a relationship with God. Every tribe and nation from the very commencement of human history has somehow lived this truth and expressed it culturally as religious seeking. God created us and established us in an inescapable relationship with him; inescapable because it is part of our very constitution, like our need for oxygen and water, sunlight and food.

Theme: A new perspective

Several years ago, the Italian film maker, Franco Zeffirelli offered the public his cinematic version of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth. In the film, after the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary and his hasty burial, a member of the Sanhedrin was informed that certain followers of the itinerant teacher and healer were claiming that his tomb had been found empty. Others were spreading the news that they had experienced his risen presence. At that, the Jewish official moaned softly and sighed almost inaudibly, ‘. . . and so it begins’ and so indeed, the resurrection of Jesus marked the beginning of a new way of life centered in Christ Jesus, who died but now lives forever. By virtue of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, we are offered a new perspective. Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection changed forever the way we look at death; it changed the way we look at life, at this world and at one another.

Theme: Do this in memory of me

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in order to prepare ourselves to commemorate the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Day, today, we are celebrating Holy Thursday. This Feast solemnly commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. During the history of the Holy Catholic Church, this special Feast has been associated with the reconciliation of penitents, the consecration of the holy oils, the washing of the feet, the commemoration of the Blessed Eucharist and Institution of Ministerial Priesthood. Holy Thursday is the night on which our Lord Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples. What went through their mind on that night, we will never know. We can only imagine. What we do know is that Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from the world and to go to the Father.

Today is the day when despair and hope meet to decide the fate of humanity. Today we are invited to make a choice and take a stand to stay with or to move away from Jesus. The usual homilies have less to clarify since the way of the Cross is enough. I pick seven words that may provoke us to retrace where our hope has disappeared so that we may return on the right truck.

The First Word: Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do!  In these words we were all included; the indifferent, those who slapped his face, the Chief Priests hidden by the cruel Centurion’s chariot, the fearful apostles and crowds. But in the distance there is an incredible ultimate grace. We all hung the innocent instead of discerning out the Judas Iscariot who is forever our companion.

Theme: Decide now

 Luke’s account of the Passion of Jesus contains a number of emotional moments that show how what happens to Jesus forces others to make decisions. The majority of the disciples will pledge their loyalty at the Last Supper, then run away when the police converge on Jesus in the garden. Peter boasts of his steadfastness, then denies any association with Jesus when questioned. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Pilate seeks to avoid passing judgment on a man he thinks is innocent first by sending him to Herod who mocks and beats Jesus and sends him back; then by appealing to the crowd to choose him over Barabbas; finally by trying to pacify the Sanhedrin by having him flogged. Luke tries to exonerate the Romans of Jesus’ death as the early Church seeks an entry into the Mediterranean world. But in the end he can only show the pressure a cowardly Pilate was under as he gives in and hands Jesus over to be crucified, a form of capital punishment only Rome could inflict.

Theme: Letting go of the past

So frequently, our focus during this holy season of preparation for Easter gravitates toward the wrong that we have done. We review the laws of God and the Church and we realize that there have been infractions both great and small. We evaluate our relationships with God and with one another and admit that we have not been as faithful as we are called to be. We remember the goals we set for ourselves and are painfully aware that we have fallen short. We gauge the quality of our character, the depth of our spirituality and the fervor of our prayer and find that we are in great need of growth. While it may be tempting to engage in this practice of negative navel-gazing, the mercies of our God call us to cultivate a more positive attitude. Admitting guilt and accepting responsibility is a necessary first step, but to remain in the morass of hopelessness created by our own sinfulness is to waste an opportunity to draw ever more closely and fall ever more deeply in love with God. Each of the Readings for this Sunday references this process of turning a negative into a positive by surrendering a sinful past to the past.

Theme: Letting go of the past

So frequently, our focus during this holy season of preparation for Easter gravitates toward the wrong that we have done. We review the laws of God and the Church and we realize that there have been infractions both great and small. We evaluate our relationships with God and with one another and admit that we have not been as faithful as we are called to be. We remember the goals we set for ourselves and are painfully aware that we have fallen short. We gauge the quality of our character, the depth of our spirituality and the fervor of our prayer and find that we are in great need of growth. While it may be tempting to engage in this practice of negative navel-gazing, the mercies of our God call us to cultivate a more positive attitude. Admitting guilt and accepting responsibility is a necessary first step, but to remain in the morass of hopelessness created by our own sinfulness is to waste an opportunity to draw ever more closely and fall ever more deeply in love with God. Each of the Readings for this Sunday references this process of turning a negative into a positive by surrendering a sinful past to the past.

Theme: A true Conversion

At any given minute across this vast earth of ours, someone is committing a crime. Those who are apprehended must account for their actions in a court of law, judged by a jury of their peers. Usually justice is meted out fairly and the guilty reap the consequences of their actions, while the innocent are exonerated. However, there have been instances when despite the best efforts of law enforcement and the judicial system, it has been determined that a fair trial is not possible. If we apply, albeit loosely, this same legal strategy to the spiritual life and to the judgment that every sinner rightly deserves; it becomes clear that throughout salvation history that God has provided sinners with a Spiritual Jury. Called out of sin into a place of reconciliation, we should be able to make a new start instead of remaining in our guilt, sinking into despair and hopelessness. Without this burden, forgiven sinners are graced with new hope that leads to growth and wholeness.

Theme: Let God do

Have you ever had a burning bush experience? Have you ever known a moment in which you were so profoundly in touch with the presence of God that your life from then on was totally transformed by that encounter? Moses’ experience of God, as shared today in Exodus was such an encounter. There at the bush that burned but was not consumed, Moses knew the awesome presence of God and from within that ambience of fear and fascination he began to realize his true identity and his purpose in life. Burning bush experiences are fraught with absolute truth. There is no dissembling in that moment; there is only the sheer terror but also the great thrill of realizing who God is and who I am before God. This realization is followed by a further incredible awareness that despite who I am and who I am not, despite what I have done and what I have neglected to do, God chooses to be present to me, to call me, to grace me, to call and grace others through me. Paul’s burning bush experience happened on the Damascus road and the passionate faith in Jesus that took root in him that day is palpable in all his writings today. Samuel and Isaiah discovered their bushes burning in the temple. Each went forth from that experience resolute in his desire to serve God and God’s people as best he could despite the personal cost.

Theme: Changed from within

Most transformation experiences whether good and bad are an inherent aspect of the human condition. Transformations are clearly observable in nature as one season yields to another; natural processes are sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightful. When human beings participate in the process of transformation, the results can be similarly remarkable and equally ambivalent. For example the transformation of a baby to a child to an adult can be amazing to witness, but when that same human being is ravaged by a debilitating illness; one must look much deeper to find the person’s true loveliness.

Theme: Temptations

Humanity has always struggled with the question ‘where can I Find God?’ Some attest that God can be found in the faces of the poor and the struggling people. Others mention of finding God in silence and others in reflection. These six weeks of Lent is an opportunity for rediscovering God in a more organized manner not because the sense of God has been lost or forgotten but because this liturgical season offers an opportunity of deepening the ever evolving relationship which each of us shares with God. In her continuing effort to assist believers in their individual and collective efforts at finding God, the Church keeps us in touch with the living Word of God.

Theme: Here I am Lord, send me

This week, we are invited to consider the spiritual astonishment of three of the great ones within our Judaeo-Christian tradition, Isaiah, Paul and Peter. Each of the readings details the special call of these three men as a life-changing event. While considering the vocational experiences of these, our ancestors in the faith, we are also challenged to examine our own personal calls to conversion and discipleship. Although the circumstances of each vocation are unique, there are some discernable characteristics which seem to be common to all vocations. Because these characteristics are so rudimentary, perhaps they could be referred to as ‘the three Rs’, which are, realization, repentance and readiness. When a divine proposal is initially recognized, the person to whom it has been proffered enters into a process of realization whereby he/she becomes aware of God as all holy, all good, all loving and all giving. By the same token and as a result of realizing who God is; one also becomes aware of self before God as a person fully undeserving and yet totally in need of all that God is. This self realization issues forth in a spirit of repentance that looks to God for a healing that will bring both holiness and wholeness to the believer. The third characteristic of the vocational experience flows quite naturally from the first two. In full realization of God and of self and in full recognition that his/her need for repentance can always be met and answered, the believer stands in readinessto be and to do all that his/her vocation will require.

Theme:  Love is essential

In today’s readings we are presented with rich theological fare, where dedicated lives of Jeremiah and Jesus are wrapped around Paul’s celebration of the virtue of love. Paul’s address to the Corinthians is quite beautiful and poetical he lifts us to the heights of idealism and takes our imaginations to that perfect place where love endures to conquer all with its grace. Jeremiah and Jesus illustrate most expressively through their lives that love not only sings and celebrates; love also answers God’s call, despite the difficulty that will entail. This is how love answer God’s will. It is faithful despite the temptation to stray. Love is ready to forgive and makes valiant efforts at forgetting the hurtful aspects of life together. Love holds out even when nest eggs are forced to hatch too soon. Love survives when old age claims looks and memory and fervor.

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Sunday Masses

Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

Crowd possible, please don't be late! May God bless you!

About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

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